Autistic people are often left handed or ambidextrous



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cabbage
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16 Apr 2010, 8:57 am

I saw a poll on this forum about what hand you use to write with and noticed there were extremely large percentages of people that voted left handed or ambidextrous. In general lefties and ambidextrous people make up the small minority but it seems to be a lot more common among autistic people. I looked this up and found a few studies indicating that autistic people are much more likely to be left handed than people not on the spectrum. I don't neatly fit into any category since I write and draw with my left hand, use my right arm for things that require strength and use my left leg for things that require strength. The term is cross lateral I think. I came across a technique called cross crawl where you simultaneously use you're right arm + left leg or left arm + right leg and supposedly this requires a greater degree of communication between the two sides of the brain and as a result the corpus collosum grows in order to make way for the new traffic. Being cross lateral I must have a fairly developed corpus callosum as it is. I wonder if this is the reason behind being good with tasks requiring creativity as well as tasks that require logic and having a rare ability to combine both faculties in order to invent things.



happymusic
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16 Apr 2010, 9:15 am

I can write with both hands, but usually use my right - except I prefer to write numbers with my left. And I tie my shoes left handed - and clean and put on lotion and make-up with my left hand.



superboyian
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16 Apr 2010, 9:27 am

I'm right handed so it depends how we grew up really, some people I knew are left handed but some were right handed, yet I eat and some of things with my left. :)


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cabbage
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16 Apr 2010, 10:23 am

I decided to try start using my left hand for everything in hopes of becoming ambidextrous and its working. its becoming natural now to use my left arm for things I used to only do with my right.



Gigi830
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16 Apr 2010, 10:24 am

I am mainly right handed, but I do some things that require strength with my left (like opening jars for ex)


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cthulukitty
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16 Apr 2010, 11:14 am

Interesting question indeed. It's very possible that there would be a correlation between handedness and thinking style. I am very much right handed, and also very linguistic/auditory. I do well with visual thinking as well, as autistic people are thought to, but sound and language definitely seem to be my primary senses. I think mostly in words, and use visualization less often. I am also a musician.

I read in Denett's Consciousness Explained that there is actually a neurological difference between left and right handed people. There are some structures, or connections, that always form in the left hemisphere for right handed people, and that occur randomly in either hemisphere for left handed people. I am not a neurologist (at least not yet), but it seems conceivable at first glance that some people could also develop such structures in both hemispheres, and that may or may not correlate with ambidexterity and some of the other phenomena described above.

Dyslexia is also correlated highly with enhanced visual abilities, and appears to share some genetic etiology with autism and ADHD. A quick google search confirmed that left-handedness is correlated with dyslexia in the popular imagination, though some scientific results appear to have disconfirmed this (I can't post any links until I post some more). I do not know whether or not any such studies have taken into account the location of the aforementioned handedness associated brain structures.

-ck



ProfessorAspie
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16 Apr 2010, 11:52 am

maybe a little bit. more than I am now. Used to be able to write with my feet too.

These days I type everything anyway...



PlatedDrake
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16 Apr 2010, 12:50 pm

I'm right handed, but when i interlock my fingers, my left hand is dominant. Depending on some situations, i'll switch between the two, but im more dominant right (given the callouses).



Jellybean
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16 Apr 2010, 12:59 pm

Quote:
Used to be able to write with my feet too.


So did I :lol:

I am ambidextrous. My mother remembers that I used to switch hands constantly as a kid when I was drawing or writing. I have a physical disability (dystonia) in my right arm now so I cannot write for long without getting a sharp stabbing pain, I sometimes use my left hand instead, again I can't do this for long. Thankfully my college has been helpful and provided me with a laptop for my English course... Okay so it's about 4 years old and the size of a large mammal, but it works...


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ursaminor
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16 Apr 2010, 2:04 pm

Ambidextrous in writing.
Left hand in throwing, opening jars.
Right hand in cutting.
Probably more things but those are most important in my life right now.



Tim_Tex
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16 Apr 2010, 2:09 pm

I am right-handed, so I don't think there is any link between autism and left-handedness.


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Peko
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16 Apr 2010, 3:00 pm

I'm right handed but have one left handed aspie friend (just depends on the person I guess). I do know the left side or your brain is linked to logic, math, science, literal thinking etc. & the right is the creative side. I think the dominant half of your brain probably affects which hand is dominant.


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petitesouris
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16 Apr 2010, 4:58 pm

i used to be ambidexterous, yet now i seem to be mostly right handed.



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16 Apr 2010, 5:04 pm

I'm strictly left-handed. I do almost everything with my left hand. I feel very strange, if I'm holding something in my right hand.


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petitesouris
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16 Apr 2010, 5:17 pm

i think a lot of people, including nt's, might also be ambidexterous, although in the general population lefties are a minority (10%). i do not know the stats on ambidexterity.



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